Comments on EIR:

Friedman, Barry

Grant, Pat

Hendricks, Glenn

Skewes-Cox, Amy

Henson, Alexander

Whittum, David

Comments about MAEP

Boehm, Jan

Staats, Debbie

Yeager, Don

Yeager, Jeanne

 is your most complete source of information on the City of Sunnyvale, CA,  proposed Mary Avenue Extension (MAE) (Bridge, Overpass, whatever), its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the litigation seeking to decertify the EIR. Home 

Mary Avenue Wiki

MAE -- The Project and EIR's in General Comments about the EIR Comments about the MAEP City Council Meeting 10/28/08 and start of Litigation The Litigation Continued (Under Construction)


Staats, Deborah



Deborah A Staats

1030 S Mary Ave Sunnyvale Ca 94087 408-749-9857


Jack Whitthaus

City of Sunnyvale

Transportation and Traffic Manager

456 West Olive Ave

Sunnyvale Ca 94086

November 12 2008

Re Mary Ave Extension EIR

Dear Mr Whitthaus

I have lived in Sunnyvale since 1965 43 years my husband since 1961 -- 47 years.  I grew up on Grape Ave and he on
Homestead Rd We bought our first home in 1979 on Grape Ave We then bought our second home in 1985 on Mary Ave We have raised our 2 sons in this home for over 22 years We grew up in Sunnyvale and wanted to live in Sunnyvale It was a quiet attractive  safe healthy environment that offered an active family-oriented community and residential life-style to raise our children yet also had an active business community.

  Over the years it has grown but did not out grow all the reasons we chose to build our lives here until now I feel that the proposed Mary Ave Extension threatens the very values that Sunnyvale was built upon As a life long resident I respectfully demand as should the leaders of our community that alternatives be found to destroying our neighborhoods and the reasons I live in Sunnyvale This proposal will erode the quality of life for much of the city against it s own stated policy to protect and sustain a high quality of life in Sunnyvale unless the needs are the residents are addressed.

I feel that the negatives far exceed any positives for this proposal The most glaring omission from the EIR is any discussion of viable alternatives Alternatives are virtually ignored Alternatives require working with other cities the county Caltrans VTA Caltrain regional and state agencies Sunnyvale is not an island and needs to make transportation improvements a coordinated effort between agencies to create the most effective safe economically sound environmentally friendly plan for all and keep Sunnyvale residents rights protected.

   I had never heard about this project even though I
have lived in Sunnyvale for 42years I wasn't informed about
this project when I bought my property even though it might have greatly effected my decision to buy that property or live in Sunnyvale I have been told that this project was first proposed in 1972 I was never notified in any way that there were plans to expand Mary Ave making it into a commuter corridor, essentially another expressway What has Sunnyvale been doing all those years to coordinate transportation plans with Central Lawrence 237 101 85 280  Mathilda"  I reviewed the EIR for the proposed Mary Ave Extension I have many concerns regarding this proposed project and the EIR I object to the project and would like to enumerate my concerns and questions that I feel the EIR didn't address.

The EIR suggests that in the future street parking may be removed to create new lanes Parking is one of my major concerns We purchased our home knowing we could park in front of our home We have 2 teenage sons with vehicles besides my vehicle my husbands vehicle and guests vehicles when we have them Multiply those numbers by all the homes on Mary Ave Parking will be a huge problem Just imagine if you were told you could no longer park in front of your residential home and the lanes in the street would be increased to bring traffic right up to your front yard and in essence make it an expressway Where would all the people on Mary Ave park"

We would have to park around the block from our home in front of other people s homes All the homes on all the side streets would be affected by having all the Mary residents parking in front of their homes Who wants to walk a block to their home"; Guests would have to park around the block again impacting the side streets If the lanes come up to the sidewalk how would trash be put out or collected Imagine trash cans along Lawrence Expressway Lanes would be obstructed on trash days to accommodate recycling and trash trucks or for deliveries Sunnyvale Middle School has an entrance/exit where children are dropped off/picked up from school directly on Mary Ave.

 This cannot be done on an expressway The entrance would have to be closed Every Sunnyvale Middle School parent child and teacher would object to that Multiply that by the parking problems that will also be created for the other 6 schools within a few blocks of Mary Ave Parking for schools and the many school activities will impact all the side street is if there will no longer be parking along Mary Ave That entrance on Mary Ave to Sunnyvale Middle School is also used to access the track and field that is a public park through an agreement with the Parks and Recreation Dept That park/track/field is used extensively by the surrounding residents and many come for miles to use it The City makes money renting the facilities The field is used by soccer and baseball teams There is no parking lot for the park/track/field

The only parking is along the street and is used constantly day and night How can they use the facilities if there is no parking and an entrance is closed These people would park around the block or at the school creating more parking problem for all the side streets and at the school This would deny Sunnyvale residents access to this park/field/track Every person who uses this park/field/track would object The police will have to participate in mitigating all the parking problems all along the Mary Ave corridor There will be many complaints by residents the school and park/track/ field users about parking Perhaps it will cost the city money to install parking restrictions/signs   The city would lose rental fees on a facility without access There is nothing in the EIR about the parking problems that will be created and the lack availability of city facilities it will cause.

 This extension will bring commuter traffic directly through residential areas that have been established since the highway/expressway systems were created in this county Residents bought their property because they were residential Not like the plans for Highway 85 when property was bought knowing that the highway was going to be put through It will decrease property values decrease the money the city receives from property taxes residents may be forced to move There is no need to create another thruway when there are a half dozen available all within less than a mile (Central Lawrence 237 101 85 280 Mathilda). 

Those existing expressways and freeways should be utilized  improved expanded Commuter traffic should be kept to where it belongs not going through residential neighborhoods Commuters will take the easier/closer route if it is given The city already has had to block streets along Mary Ave (Blair) to prevent commuter traffic from taking a short cut through residential neighborhoods the exact opposite goal of this proposal Sunnyvale should not be making a shortcut for commuters through our residential neighborhoods devaluating our property and way of life Sunnyvale should be working with all the other agencies to keep traffic where it belongs and working to protect its citizens and their way of life not sacrificing them. Why should we suffer the congestion in our own city in our own front yards literally for those who don't even live here'

 Sunnyvale needs to be concerned about it s own citizens who own the property and pay the taxes and make it the city that it is The extension is not for us Who will benefit' Not the residents but the commuters Who will pay for it. The residents not the commuters In addition the funding for a 60M plus proposal seems very vague Funding for improvements to the other expressway/freeways would be mitigated by the other agencies if Sunnyvale elicited their cooperation The EIR does not take into consideration the traffic noise pollution and safety issues created other than for the site itself

This project is not stand alone There is a wave of expansion that will result once it is completed all the intersections from there to Fremont Ave will have to be expanded to accommodate the commuters The EIR does not address the additional costs for all those intersection expansions The noise and pollution and safety issues for the residents in the surrounding areas are a direct result of the extension and there will be more with the intersection expansions yet none of this is addressed in the EIR either   The residents and children will be exposed to exponentially increasing exhaust fumes and pollution and noise and safety issues that are not represent ed EIR omits this data skewing the results to show less traffic than there will be from this extension

Therefore those numbers are inaccurate and need to be reevaluated There are up to 6 schools within blocks of the Mary Ave with Sunnyvale Middle School directly on it The accounted for and unaccounted for increase in traffic will create a significant safety issue for children getting to and from school walking biking or having their parents dropping them off School and commute times are similar making a dangerous situation  More traffic means more accidents between vehicles bikes pedestrians mostly children Sunnyvale won t remain the safe family city it is now The extension will put the health and safety of those families at risk

The increased traffic accidents crime health and safety issues will impact the budgets of the police fire and heath care systems The goal of the city and every resident should be reducing environmental damage and keeping our city safe and healthy for it s residents not increasing problems for it s residents The city of Sunnyvale should be endorsing transportation proposals with that same goal I m fighting for that why isn't the city? Sunnyvale should not even consider this extension without addressing the needs of the residents.

The EIR suggests in the future street parking may be removed to create extra lanes Mary Ave is already a very busy street with 2 lanes in each direction As it is now without the extension the traffic can be so busy that it is difficult to get in and out of my own driveway If parking is removed and more lanes created there won't even be parked cars between the sidewalk and lanes of traffic Traffic will be right against the sidewalks Again more dangerous for all the school children and bikers This residential street would become like an expressway Mary is a residential street  My front door is only 25 feet from the street.

No Expressway has residential homes with front doors facing the lanes of traffic Their backyards back up to the lanes of traffic and sound walls are employed to reduce the noise level Imagine the increase in noise pollution as well as exhaust pollution pouring into our front doors With just an increase of 10 000 cars as predicted by the EIR the noise and exhaust pollution will increase yet no where in the EIR does it mention mitigating the noise pollution by any means never mind the sound walls that might be necessary like on the expressways

Imagine long cement sound walls down both sides of Mary Not an attractive city street Highways and expressways exist to bear the heavy traffic between cities A city streets function is to move travelers within that city Sunnyvale City Council must find alternative ways to get workers from different cities to the businesses not to use a residential street as an automotive commuters shortcut to work.

The speed limit on Mary is 35 Most speed to 40-45 now as it is It is already dangerous for the school children bikers and the resident s cars trying to turn into their own driveways If there were added lanes becoming like an expressway drivers will perceive that they can increase their speed even more like on an expressway no matter what is posted The increased traffic and speeds increase exhaust/air/noise pollution and safety issues, all of which will create significant health issues What will this increased pollution do to the environment and the vegetation/trees not to mention our lungs and health?

The EIR does not address the increased environmental impact and health issues The EIR neglects the alternative of expanding public transportation A viable connection to the nearby Caltrains is not explored. Bike lanes running the length of Mary Ave need to be included in any plan Sunnyvale states it advocates providing greater transportation options reducing waste (pollution) being environmentally sensitive   providing a natural environment The extension does not address those values A new  Bike/Pedestrian crossover 280 will connect Mary Ave to Cupertino but those bike lanes end at Fremont Many commuters could choose the green alternative a Sunnyvale value and bike if they were provided the bike lanes.

Sunnyvale is responsible as a city to keep a vibrant economy by balancing the needs of all its residents and the business community The operative word is balanced It is fine to increase the economy by developing the business community but the residents rights health and safety cannot be sacrificed to that end In the end the community exists because of its residents Business expansion is necessary for the health of the community

The city may have obligations to Moffett Business park Despite objections the city council may approve the EIR and move ahead with the Mary Ave Extension I strongly urge the council to compromise between business and the needs of it s residents The section of Mary Ave from Fremont to Evelyn must be remarked from 4 lanes to 3 lanes to include both street parking and bikes lanes 2 lanes of traffic one each way and a middle turn lane same as the section from Fremont to Homestead That formation would work the entire length of Mary Ave to Evelyn It would provide access to the Moffett Business Park It would also provide bike lanes for green transportation It would mitigate the traffic speeding noise air/exhaust pollution for residents along Mary Ave reducing the health and safety risks

It would retain parking and access to city facilities along Mary Ave The two thru lanes would have less interruption in the flow of traffic Residents would have access to their driveways It would protect property values and residents may decide not to sell and would remain loyal Sunnyvale residents The restructuring of Mary Ave from Fremont to Evelyn is a must to mitigate all the problems the additional traffic will create for residents and especially those with front yards/doors so close to traffic on Mary Ave Sunnyvale needs to remain a family friendly community Our downtown had the streets closed and a mall built in an ill-conceived proposal

The City came to regret that decision and the City Council has lead us through a decade long process to restore the streets and downtown Please prevent another ill conceived proposal The city must protect its own citizens first Once the streets are changed it would be very difficult to reverse if doesn't work oust like the downtown This Mary Ave Extension will change our family friendly community into a commuter route unless Mary Ave is restructured

Many long time residents oppose the Mary Ave Extension but would find the restructuring compromise acceptable A lawsuit costly delays and attorney costs may in sue unless the citizen s feel the city is safeguarding their best interests as well as those of Moffett Business Park The EIR is definitely not an accurate representation of all the issues This is a complex issue but the needs of the residents of Sunnyvale must be paramount to its elected officials


Debbie Staats

dastaats@earthlink net